By Vonnie Davis
For the past month or so, I noticed some changes in my husband. His legs were filling out, both his calves and thighs. His ankles, not so much. So I thought he was putting on weight. I admit I was pleased because I thought he was too thin.
Then his breathing became raspy. I could hear him breath across the room; almost as if he had asthma. That evening he couldn’t finish a sentence without being out of breath. I told him he was going to the doctor the next day.
I thought he had bronchitis.
A heart attack never entered my mind.
But that’s what he was having. The weight gain I thought he was having in his legs was fluid retention. He was hooked to an IV to flush out the fluid. In four days, he lost twenty-eight pounds.
I spent his first night in the hospital room on the recliner, holding his hand. They planned on putting him through a battery of tests the next afternoon. I went home to grab some decent sleep, shower and change clothes. I talked to the kids before rushing back to the hospital.
He was sitting up in the recliner when I barreled into his room. “Hey, they’ve got you sitting up. That’s a positive sign.”
“Not in my opinion,” he groused. “This IV makes me go to the bathroom every time I blink my eyes. They had the footrest up. I lowered it so I could stand and the damn chair catapulted me onto the floor where I laid until a nurse found me. Now they’ve got a buzzer on this chair and under my mattress to go off whenever I stand up.”
A nurse unhooked the buzzer on the recliner so I could use it after Calvin got back in bed. Later, after the lights were out, he said, “I miss lying next to you. I can’t sleep unless we snuggle. Get in bed with me.”
Well, I’m an extra-fluffy woman and I eyed the bed with skepticism. I slipped off my jeans, folded them over the arm of the recliner, and crawled into bed with my husband. That’s when all hell broke loose. Who knew adding weight to the bed would make the alarm go off? It sounded like ambulance sirens, fog horns, air-raid blasts, and moose in heat. All at once, the door flew open, the lights came on, and six—count ‘em, SIX—women charged in our room only to find two senior citizens snuggled under the covers.
One eagle-eyed nurse spotted my jeans and whispered to the nurse next to her, “Is she in that bed naked and her husband only one day post heart attack?”
I laughed that much harder. I’d been caught with my pants down.
Calvin is home, seeing the Cardiologist twice a week. He’s been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, but making progress. I’m learning to cook without salt. I’m determined he’ll get better just like he did after his first heart attack.
|Retired English professor Calvin|
and Vonnie Davis